Don’t just think about pumpkins on your front porch this fall. Instead, think about the many ways that you can bring pumpkin into the kitchen. As one of the healthiest foods out there, pumpkin ranks with other superfoods like blueberries and salmon as offering lots of different nutrients for low calories. Family caregivers with elderly relatives will be glad to discover that the health benefits that people get from eating pumpkin are especially important to seniors.
There are plenty of ways to bring pumpkin into every meal, such as pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin casserole. Cooks can even substitute pureed pumpkin for most butters or oils in baked goods. Pumpkin is inexpensive, versatile and easy to get, whether it’s fresh or canned. With so many recipes to choose from, it’s no wonder that family caregivers are making the decision to include it in the diet of their elderly loved ones.
Here are 7 reasons why pumpkin is a healthy addition to any elderly person’s meal:
- Better eye health. Thanks to all the vitamin A inside pumpkin, elderly relatives can boost vision and improve the health of their eyes. It’s also a source of beta-carotene, which gives it that distinctive color. Beta-carotene is also important for healthier eyes.
- Excellent source of fiber. Pumpkin provides nearly 3 grams of fiber per single cup serving. Not only does fiber help with digestion and weight loss, it’s also helpful in regulating blood sugar and lowering cholesterol.
- Reduce the risk of cancer. As part of the same orange family as sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots, pumpkin contains the same cancer-fighting properties that stem from the abundant beta-carotene in its soft flesh.
- Stronger and healthier skin. The skin is a key part of overall health and wellness, but many seniors struggle with keeping it healthy. Enter pumpkin’s carotenoids, which neutralize free radicals and may help reduce the risk of cancer as well.
- Immune system booster. Vitamin C is important for the body to use when healing wounds, repairing tissue, and strengthening bones and teeth. Seniors generally have a weaker immune system, so an infusion of vitamin C can help them withstand an germs that come their way.
- Source of vitamins and minerals. When seniors eat just one cup of cooked pumpkin, they’ll get plenty of vitamins and minerals, such vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, riboflavin, potassium, folate, manganese, thiamin, B-6, niacin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
- Reduce cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds, when roasted and eaten, are an excellent source of plant-based phytosterols, which can help lower that LDL, or bad, cholesterol. Seniors that have problems with high cholesterol can have some pumpkin seeds every day to reap the health benefits.
It’s no surprise that family caregivers that learn about all the health benefits of pumpkin start to incorporate it more into the diet. Whether fresh or canned, pumpkin should be a staple at the dinner table all year long, not just in the fall.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME CAREGIVERS IN SUMMERLIN, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY 702-800-4616.